YANKEV BROS (JACOB BROSS) (March 8, 1883-1942)
He was born in Cracow into a comfortable, semi-assimilated family. He graduated from high school in Cracow, studied law at Cracow University, and practiced as a lawyer in Cracow. From his youth he was drawn to the socialist movement. In 1901 he became a member of the Polish social democrats in Galicia, and he was active among its Jewish members. Together with Henryk Grossman (Cracow) and Karol Einaugler (Lemberg), he was among the founders of the Jewish Social-Democratic Party (Żydowska Partia Socjalno-Demokratyczna) (on May 1, 1905). Over the years 1905-1920, he was among the most visible leaders of the party and a contributor to the weekly newspaper Sotsyal-demokrat (Social democrat) (1905-1914, 1918-1920). Thereafter, as the “Galician Bund” it became a section of the Bund in Poland. During WWI, Bros served as an officer in the Austro-Hungarian Army. After the war, he renewed his work in the movement and in the socialist press in Galicia and Poland. He also worked with the Polish-Jewish socialist newspapers in Cracow and Warsaw. He published two works on the history of the socialist Jewish movement in Galicia: “Tsu der geshikhte fun der yy.s.d.p. in galitsye” (Toward the history of the Jewish Social-Democratic Party in Galicia), Royte pinkes, vol. 2 (Warsaw, 1924); and “Der onheyb fun der yidisher arbeter-bavegung in galitsye” (The beginning of the Jewish workers’ movement in Galicia), Historishe shriftn 3 (YIVO, 1939), later republished in YIVO Annual 5 (New York, 1950), pp. 55-85. He also published a work entitled “Kind un farbrekhn” (Child and crime) in the YIVO serial, Shriftn far psikhologye un pedagogik (Writings on psychology and pedagogy), vol. 1 (Vilna, 1933). Bros died in 1942 in Kremenets, Volhynia, during the Nazi massacres.
Sources: Dr. L. Fayner, “Di bundishe prese in kroke fun 1905 biz 1930” (The Bundist press in Cracow from 1905 to 1930), in Historisher zamlbukh (Historical anthology) (Warsaw, 1948); John Mill, Pyonern un boyer (Pioneers and builders), vol. 2 (New York, 1949); biographical collection of P. Shvarts, in Yivo-arkhiv (YIVO archives).
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